Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
The Harrier is the most fun aircraft I've ever flown, the Sea Jet (FRS1) is the best of the Harriers. It combines the handling qualities of the earlier marks with the stability of the later varients. If only they could have put the 11-61 into it. It turned the GR5 into a lightweight GR3..............just imagine what it could have done for the Sea Jet!
I can't think why you guys out there keep knocking it.....a little envy creeping in perhaps?
As someone who was lucky enough to get his hands on the T4 a few times I have to say that flying the Harrier was the most exciting thing I have ever done with my trousers on. Half an hour at low level and 480kt in Germany without ever going about 250' is amazing - and so is taking off and landing on tiny little tin strips in a pine forest.
I still remain to be convinced of it's effectiveness as a weapons system - it was described to me by a Sqn Ldr on 4Sqn as an "expensive artillery piece" because all that gear could only deliver 2 CBUs or 2 x 1000lb-er.
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
FRS 1 was a pretty-looking jet. Did the biz in the Malvinas pretty well. But F/A 2 is a typically ugly BWoS product - surely it could have been built to look less like something produced by a 6 year old modeller who had sawn the nose off a model Harrier FRS 1 and stuck on the Phantom radome he happened to have in his bits box... Or maybe that's exactly what 't Bungling Baron did - and then bellowed "Eh oop Seth, send this model which our young Jethro has joost made to 't boogerrs at 't Soft Sootherrn Werrrks an' get 'em to knock up a jet for 't lads in 't Navy" .
Personally I preferred GR1 or even P1127 displays - the GR7 display is so bŁoody noisy and goes on for too damn long
Very clever design, the Harrier. I'm told that it's wonderful, even 'bona' to fly. But is it a viable 21st Century weapon system?
I accidently stumbled across this page on the RN website after clicking on the wrong thing. Don't you think the paragraphs under "The Future" are interestingly worded? Time for reading between the lines I think....
Edit (Sept 2013): Things would get much worse in 2010, post the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Following the retirement of the Sea Harrier, carrier skills faded as the Harrier was committed to Afghanistan leaving empty decks, then just as things started to improve, Harrier got axed. Some suggested that if Sea Harrier had still ben in service things may have been different.
Take a look around you - this is PPRuNe country. Accuracy is important in flight test so I suggest you sharpen up.
For everybody else, there is so much that could be said regarding some of the incorrect SHAR info that floats around (especially on WEB’s first link) that one could make a career out of correcting it all. But the hell with that, life is too short.
For me, the most significant thing is that the SHAR's most vociferous critics never mention its most diabolical feature. I suspect this says a bit about how much they actually know about the wriggly machine but let us not get into that. The nozzle lever (the said diabolical feature) means there are two things for the left hand to grab so it is only a matter of time before you move the wrong one. However, 40 plus years ago there was just no other way to do the desirable vectored thrust thing. Since then generations of pilots have been trained up to the task and compensated for the deficiencies in the basic design concept - most of the time.
In 1971 I went to the first RAE meeting where boffins outlined a way ahead to simplify the pilot’s task. I got very excited and thought 18 months should sort that. In fact it took until 1999 before I flew software in the VAAC where I felt you needed zero training beyond a PPL to fly any manoeuvre involving jet lift. Thank goodness the JSF pilots will be properly served. Quite seriously, until you have flown a fast jet where all you have to do is pull back on the pole to go up AT ANY AIRSPEED then you have not experienced low work load.
Of course BEagle is right to question whether a forty year old concept has much sensible service life remaining. Especially when the hottest bit of the machine is positioned at the CG. It must be nasty in any fast jet to have your IR defences penetrated and as a result loose a chunk off your back end, but surely this is as nothing compared to taking a direct hit right behind your own pink back.
As the original poster said the SHAR has a BVR system that is the one to beat even today, but thanks to years of under investment we must agree it is mounted in a knackered airframe that is shoved around by a worn out donk. Unlike the kit in the GR9.
John There's alot of words in your post that contradicts your words in books. I'm sorry to read your words such as "diabolical". The Harrier (non Mc D), as far as I understand it, is a piece of engineering genius unique on this planet inspite of some misgivings (Shar cockpit is a fine example of ergonomics gone wrong). The Harrier is now past its sell by date however that should not detract from its conceptual brilliance. Well done to all those that were involved with the Harrier/Kestrel in its early days. Harry says "Hi" by the way. FEBA